Sunday, 16 January 2011

Adventures in fermentation - Kimchi

The lovely Jerry gave me The joy of pickling for my birthday last week, and then some friends gave us a lovely home grown cabbage, so I decided to try making some kimchi (Korean fermented cabbage). I've always enjoyed it in Korean restaurants and it seems simple to make and keeps for ages.

There are several recipes in the book, but I decided to start with the basic. Step 1 was to make a brine of 3 tablespoons of sea salt and 6 cups of water. Then core the cabbage and cut into large cubes (2 inches / 5cm).
Combine cabbage and brine in a large non-reactive dish (ie not metal), weight the top with a plate and leave stand for about 12 hours.

The next day drain the cabbage and reserve the brine (you will need that in a minute). To the cabbage add 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger (minced or grated) and 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (I bashed mine in a mortar and pestle). The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons korean chilli powder which is apparently not very hot. I used about 1/2 teaspoon of my home grown thai chilli powder - which is hot). At this point it's already smelling DIVINE (even Jerry agrees). Put the cabbage mix into a large jar (2L size, or a 1.5l and a 350ml one like me!) and just cover the cabbage with the reserved brine. Then put a food grade plastic bag in the jar and fill with brine to create a weight to keep the cabbage in the brine and allow to ferment  in a cool place (no more than than 20 (68F)) for 3-5 days. Not the fridge though as that is too cold for fermentation to occur. As it's summer here I'm using my cheese fridge, which I can keep at about 15-16.

Here's how it looks today - I'll post an update in 3-5 days :-)
If you're interesting in learning more about fermented foods then Sandor Katz's wild fermentation site is the place to start.

This post was part of Fight back Friday (even though it was a Sunday LOL)

4 comments:

emilysincerely said...

That looks like an easy process. I have some cabbage that re the size of a softball and more seedlings newly planted. I want to try this when I have some mature enough to pick. THanks. Emily

Dmarie said...

I bought some kimchi once, and it went to waste because I wasn't sure what to do with it! guess I need to keep watching here to see what you do with yours.

e said...

Do you close the jars during the 3-5 days? I make fermented chillis and keep the lid tightly closed...

Margo said...

Hi E - no I don't close the jars - the bags on top with t extra brine act as a lid that keep the jar sealed but allow fermentation gasses to escape

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